Controversy grows over proposed name, Minamata Convention
Mercury Treaty Must Reduce Global Emissions
13 January 2013
Geneva — The health of current and future generations depends on an international mercury treaty that will ensure substantial reductions in global mercury emissions, said IPEN, a coalition of non-governmental organizations representing 700 public-interest organizations in 116 countries.
IPEN and Minamata survivor groups also asked delegates to name the treaty the “Mercury Convention”, instead of the proposed name, “Minamata Convention” – a reference to the site of the first well-documented incident of large-scale mercury poisoning in a human population that occurred more than 50 years ago. Objections to the Minamata name have been raised by five Japanese organizations representing victims of the tragedy, some government delegates, and the Minamata City Council.